SOMEONE PASTA MEATBALLS High-fiber spaghetti and meatballs in a zesty tomato sauce
Meatballs 1½ cups fresh whole grain bread crumbs (see tip) ½ cup 1% milk 1 lb (454 g) extra-lean ground sirloin 8 oz (227 g) light mild Italian sausage (remove casing and break into very small pieces) ⅓ cup packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 egg 1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 tsp minced garlic ¼ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp or so olive oil for browning
Sauce 1 tbsp minced garlic 1 cup diced red onions 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced plum tomatoes with their liquid ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp brown sugar ½ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pasta 1 lb (454 g) high-fiber spaghetti (see tip)
In a small bowl, soak bread crumbs in milk for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix wet bread crumbs with all remaining meatball ingredients. Shape into 24 meatballs. (Hint: Press meat mixture into 1/3-cup measuring cup. Use this amount to make TWO meatballs.)
Heat olive oil in a deep, 14-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from skillet and set aside. Do not drain off drippings or wipe skillet.
Add onions, garlic and 1/4 cup water to same skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until onions are tender and water has evaporated. Add all remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add browned meatballs, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Top spaghetti with sauce and meatballs. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.
Makes 6 servings
Tip: To make fresh bread crumbs, place a couple slices of whole grain bread in a food processor or mini chopper and pulse on and off until soft crumbs are formed. Look for high-fiber spaghetti (with inulin) beside the regular spaghetti and your grocery store, or choose whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti.
Per serving: 663 calories, 16.5 g total fat (5.6 g saturated fat), 45 g protein, 86 g carbohydrate, 13.6 g fiber, 107 mg cholesterol, 749 mg sodium
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